Added on 06/11/2013
And the boat in question wasn’t any old boat, but the historic and beautifully restored SS Nomadic; tender to the Titanic and the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world.
Revd Chris Bennett welcomed everyone aboard the 2nd Class Upper Deck including 3 of the 5 other chaplains who are now involved in The Dock Church. The service, which will take place on the first Sunday of every month, followed a simple format – a few familiar hymns, some stories, reflections and a time of prayer.
Chris recounted The Dock’s journey and how they have sought to build community in the Titanic Quarter. The Dock Walk has been a regular fixture for three and a half years, there have been ‘Meet the Neighbours’ events, BBQs in the warm weather and of course the amazing provision of the café premises on a ‘meanwhile lease’. The original dream of ‘church on a boat’, however, remained elusive as time and again the door shut firmly on a series of barges and old ships that simply weren’t fit for purpose (or anything else!).
Hamilton Dock, where Nomadic sits, is just beside The Dock Café and Chris recalled how they watched the restoration of the boat, never thinking that she would become part of their story. However, having built a great relationship with her owners, it was over a recent cup of coffee that the offer to host a regular church service came from the Nomadic team.
“The Nomadic is so historically important, so valuable; such an incredible thing in its own right, we could scarcely have dared to dream that a ship as beautiful, as historic and iconic would ever become our venue. It’s incredible how the simplest conversation opens a door after all those years of frustration,” said Chris. The message of encouragement was clear – God knows what he is doing in our lives and can lead us to much more than we could have dared to ask for.
The other chaplains – Revd Wesley Ellis (Congregational) Br Finian Gavin (Catholic) and Pastor Richard Porter (Nazarene) – each shared briefly from scripture and this will be the pattern each month in keeping with the vision of a ‘shared medley’ of voices. (The Methodist and Presbyterian chaplains had other duties to fulfil that evening).
Next month, CS Lewis will be the topic and in January 2014 it will be the Methodist Covenant Prayer. All aboard Nomadic at 6.00 pm!
To find out more, visit The Dock website www.thedockchurch.org
For further information, please contact
Down & Dromore Diocesan Communications Officer
Church of Ireland House
61–67 Donegall Street
Tel: (028) 9032 2268
Fax:(028) 9023 1902
Mob: 07595 231958